Sylvia Plath reads her poem...it's a very distinct voice!

This is Plath's poem about the importance of poetic inspiration. Her biggest fear is her loss of the "incandescent...celestial burning" that inspires her writing. She reckons life would be unbearable without it. The moments of inspiration that she is subjected to (ie: the momentary inspiration that shines from the rooks wet feathers) gives her life meaning and future direction. Even the most mundane scenarios can be illuminated in an instance, "bestowing largesse, honour, / One might say love." More than anything this poem demonstrates that for her, poetry was her life. 

Some points to note:
  • The poet is in a depressed state about her writing; "I do not expect miracles" /  "season of fatigue"
  • Her fear of "total neutrality" - never to be inspired again is her worst nightmare
  • Her desire for inspiration from the physical world around her, some "backtalk"
  • The need to be alert at all times because inspiration can occur at any moment, without warning - the "sudden arrival of the angel"
  • For her, inspiration was heavenly, an honour bestowed on someone


 





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